The ladies who lunch in the wine-farming town of Stellenbosch, home to 3 400 dollar millionaires and a Steinhoff migraine, needn’t panic.
A new book called Sex, Lies & Stellenbosch may be based on all of the sauciest gossip dished out over Friday drinks or weekday smoothies after a light gym work-out, but it is not an exposé. And their bedroom – or lounge or sex club – secrets will not be traced to them.
Opening with a spicy oral sex scene involving a wine sales rep called Patty and a married man called John, Sex, Lies & Stellenbosch offers plenty of erotica. But what local drama teacher, playwright and first-time novelist Eva Mazza discovered was that the women of the town are more open to talking about sex than the men of the town think. Especially the mums.
The scene in question, expletives flying off its pages, is witnessed by wine farmer John’s wife, Jen, the novel’s leading lady-who-lunches.
“At first she can’t move. Jen’s looking at Patty. I mean, everyone knows Patty gives the best blow-jobs in the town; then she sees it’s her husband.”
Jen runs distraught through the vineyards and then heads straight to a luxury spa and books herself in for emergency treatment. But there she meets Claudia, a psychologist, and she slowly starts to unpack a life woven between the kids and the salacious sex life of her playboy husband.
Jen is cuffed by what Mazza describes as “golden shackles”. Does she leave her husband or does she stick it out for her life of luxury?
And that’s in the light of the discovery of a sex club involving the town’s millionaire men, their chosen partners for the night, cocaine and orgies.
As the book’s press release reads: “Poker night had started off as a legitimate monthly card game; it was Frans who’d turned it into ‘poke-her’ night.”
The book, says publisher Melinda Ferguson, “was written as fiction to protect the innocent”. Mazza won a slot to pitch a new book at Jacana Media, who put her in touch with associate publisher Ferguson.
Asked how much of a stir her novel will create in the town she has lived in for 22 years, Mazza laughed and recounted how she has a broad network of lady friends who have been very supportive – even if Jen’s own friends will stab her in the back in the book.
“The ladies of Stellenbosch are absolutely going to love the book,” laughs Mazza.
“A while back, I started a mum and baby group because I wanted to make more friends in town. One of the big things we would talk about is how to get your mojo back after having babies. I suggested we invite Dr Eve to talk. My husband said it would never work, but it was packed out. We sold and conquered. Those vibrators flew off the shelves.
“The second talk was about menopause and keeping it sexy.”
She knows that some will be shocked by how explicit the book is. “If you think it’s you in the book, sorry. If you think it’s offensive, move on. It is written for adults and the sex scenes aren’t gratuitous, they move the plot forward. There are many twists and turns.”